FSMA 2016: What's new and what's next
FSMA has been enacted into law for almost 5 years, and is kept up to date with the newest food safety innovations. In September, we talked about new preventative measures for human and animal food. 2016 has begun with creating new legislation in regards to produce production and processing, as well as the finalization of the Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) that applies to both human and animal food. FSMA continues to define and help implement safe environments for all parts of the food production process!
updated produce regulations
The newest addition to FSMA begins with minimum standards for safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of produce. These new regulations are all science-based and very detailed. The produce referred to includes fruits and vegetables that have been grown for human consumption.
There are some exceptions to these new standards, including produce that is not usually consumed raw, the on-farm consumption of grown produce, and produce that is not a raw agricultural commodity. There are also some products that already undergo extensive commercial processing to limit the presence of microorganisms and these could be argued to be exempt from these new standards as well.
These new standards specifically refer to:
- worker training, health and hygiene
- agricultural water sources and water cleanliness
- biological soil amendments (use of natural fertilizer)
- provisions on domestic and wild animals
- equipment and physical spaces
- sprout and seed processing
The FDA hopes that these new minimum standards will help reduce the risk of foodborne-related illness and sometimes death. They also imply that these new regulations should reduce the presence of biological hazards in or on the produce.
Foreign Supplier verification programs (FSvp)
The FSVP is directed at food importers. This includes both food for humans and food for animals. Previously, we talked about domestic regulations in regards to domestic facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold human food as well as the food safety program these facilities have to make. Facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold food that is directed at animals have to establish Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs).
According to FSVP, foreign food processing and packaging facilities are required to complete certain risk-based activities that verify the imported food meets USA safety standards. This rule was first suggested in 2013 and has now been finalized.
These updated regulations include evaluating the risk posed by food that is based on hazard analysis and conduct corrective actions whenever necessary.
Be sure to check out two more important updates including the updated Environmental Impact Statement, which can be read here, and the Accredited Third Party Verification, which can be read here. Both additions and clarifications help maintain safe food processing environments and confirm that FSMA is being implemented in all aspects of the process.
Do you need help with your food processing? Need confirmation that your facilities are up to safety measures? Sample6 DETECT/L can help keep your food manufacturing environment up to date.